Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association
Resolution No. 9-3-16-12 RESOLUTION OF THE GREAT PLAINS TRIBAL CHAIRMAN’S ASSOCIATION

TO HONOR OUR TREATIES, AGREEMENTS AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS ISSUED IN ORDER TO HONOR OUR TREATIES AND AGREEMENTS BY CEASING AND DESISTING THE IRS EFFORTS TO TAX OUR TRIBAL GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS AND SERVICES TO TRIBAL CITIZENS WHICH INTERFERES WITH OUR TRIBAL GOVERNMENT RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR TRIBAL CITIZENS, VIOLATES OUR HOMELANDS, AND VIOLATES OUR RIGHT TO TRIBAL SELF-GOVERNMENT.

 

WHEREAS,  The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association (GPTCA) is composed of the elected Chairs and Presidents of the 16 Sovereign Indian Tribes and Nations recognized by Treaties with the United States that are within the Great Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and

 

WHEREAS, The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association was formed to promote the common interest of the Sovereign Tribes and Nations and their members of the Great Plains Region which comprises the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska; and

 

WHEREAS, Indian Tribes are sovereign that pre-date the United States, with prior and treaty protected rights to self-government and to our Indian lands, and

 

WHEREAS, the constitution of the United States, through the Treaty, Commerce, Supremacy, and Apportionment Clauses and the 14th Amendment, recognizes the sovereign status of Indian Tribes as Native Nations established prior to the United States; and

 

WHEREAS, Federal Agencies have a responsibility to respect the letter and spirit of the United States Constitution, Treaties, current Federal laws, and Executive Orders, regarding the Federal Government’s relationship with Tribal Governments; and

 

WHEREAS, Our reservations are part of the original homeland of our people and under our traditional law, we have been struggling to lead our community back to self-determination and self-sufficiency after the devastating, genocidal campaigns against us in the 19th Century; and

 

WHEREAS, The United States undertook many treaty obligations in exchange for the cession of hundreds of millions of acres of land, yet the Federal Government has fallen far short in meeting theses solemn obligations; and

 

WHEREAS, Through our treaties, agreements,  and executive orders, the United States recognized and affirmed our inherent rights to self-government and correspondingly, limited the access of Federal officials to our reservations in the absence of our consent; and

 

WHEREAS, After many years Tribes in Indian Country have instituted programs to provide governmental benefits to their Tribal citizens; and

 

WHEREAS, Internal Revenue Service is auditing the benefits provided to individual Tribal citizens by their Tribal Government; and

 

WHEREAS, the Internal Revenue Service is violating our treaty rights to the absolute and undisturbed use and occupancy of our reservations as permanent homelands and is interfering with the governmental relationship between our Tribal Governments and tribal citizens; and

 

WHEREAS, The IRS discriminatory approach to the auditing of Indian tribes is a severe problem given the fact that the 5 of the 10 poorest counties in the country are within our Indian reservations in South and North Dakota; and

 

WHEREAS, The Internal Revenue Code Section 61 states that, except as otherwise provided, gross income includes all income from  whatever source derived, and the Internal Revenue Service and federal courts have consistently held that payments made under similar social benefit programs for the promotion of general welfare are not includable in gross income; and

 

WHEREAS, the General Welfare Doctrine provides a common law (or statutory interpretation by implication) exclusion for government social welfare programs, the test is based on facts and circumstances (or a IRS agent’s personal value judgment) and is difficult to apply; and

 

WHEREAS, The General Welfare Doctrine as applied by the IRS interferes with treaty rights, self-government, and the absolute and undisturbed use and occupancy of our homelands and discriminates in favor of Federal and state programs and against tribal government programs based upon the non-Indian value judgments of IRS agents; and

 

WHEREAS, Statutory language is needed to clarify that governmental benefits provided by Indian tribal governments for their members is not subject to income  taxation; and

 

WHEREAS, Federal legislation to amend the Internal Revenue Code is needed that would clarify that governmental benefits provided by an Indian tribe to its members is not subject to income taxation; and

 

WHEREAS, This legislation would apply to governmental benefits provided after the date of enactment. It also includes language to prohibit the IRS or the courts from assuming or inferring that benefits provided by Indian tribes that are not within the scope of the bill were taxable prior to  the legislation’s effective date; and

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association calls upon the United States to honor our treaties, agreements, and the executive orders issued in order to honor our treaties and agreements by ceasing and desisting the IRS efforts to tax our tribal government programs and services to tribal citizens which interferes with our Tribal Government relationship with our tribal citizens, violates our homelands, and violates our right to tribal self-government;

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association supports legislation to treat tribal government educational and other benefits as an aspect of tribal self-government and tribal civic life, not personal income to individual tribal members;

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association calls upon National Congress of American Indians, National Indian Gaming Association, Native American Finance Officers Association and other national Indian organizations to support legislation to honor tribal self-government by stopping the IRS interference with our Tribal Government relationship with our tribal citizens by seeking to tax Tribal Government programs and services provided to tribal citizens under the so-called General Welfare Doctrine;

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be policy of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association until withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.

 

CERTIFICATION

 

This resolution was enacted at a duly called meeting of the GPTCA at a meeting held at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, at which a quorum was present, with 10 members voting in favor, 0 members opposed, 0 members not abstaining, and 6 members not present.

 

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